Avian influenza rearing its head with fall migration

(Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS; Flickr.com)

Highly pathogenic avian influenza is rearing its head again as migratory birds head south for winter.

After a quiet summer, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed four new cases on commercial farms in Alberta and one commercial farm case in Saskatchewan over the past four weeks. There have also been at least two confirmed infections in non-commercial birds in Alberta.

The on-farm cases in Alberta are located in Warner County, Strathcona County, Cardston County, and as of Oct. 6, the Municipal District of Greenview. The Saskatchewan case is located in the Rural Municipality of Maple Creek. The CFIA doesn’t disclose the type of birds or how many have been affected in each individual outbreak.

South of the border, the U.S. has seen its first two cases on commercial farms since April in the last week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the virus was confirmed on commercial turkey farms in South Dakota and Utah on Oct. 4 and Oct. 6.

Over 7.7 million on-farm birds in Canada have been affected by the H5N1 virus since the pathotype was first found in North America in Newfoundland and Labrador in December 2021. Just under 59 million birds have been affected in the U.S.

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Categories: Livestock / News / Poultry / Western Canada